Students 3rd-12th grade come to Castleton to get exposed to a day in the life of a college student. Their day comes with a tour of the campus, as well as lunch in Huden Dining Hall. Students can also do a full-day with a workshop and classes.
The students in the higher grades that visit the University have more of an admission process involved, and include schools throughout New England. Student leaders from Castleton lead the tours and faculty and staff speak to the children about the experiences of attending college.
Every week, roughly 130 Castleton students volunteer to mentor 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at the Castleton Elementary School. This is an all-volunteer program and the majority of participating college students are student-athletes. Our college mentors visit the Castleton Elementary School at least once a week on a pre-determined schedule to spend quality time, one-on-one, playing, talking, working and sharing friendship and meals with their young mentees.
Our mission is to begin preparing elementary age children for their future; a future that includes higher education. We provide these students with an opportunity to observe the best of college life, to see college as an adventure. Through education and interaction they learn to recognize that preparation work must begin immediately and setting goals is the first step. We model hard work, determination, enthusiasm, and leadership. We can’t immediately evaluate our most important goal, the question of whether these elementary school students pursue college but we sow the seeds and ask the question – not whether they are going to college, but when and where.
This program was the winner of the Vermont State Governor’s Award for Community Service (2008)